In leaving Cree, I'm walking away from a company I've been at for nearly 15 years. In that time, I've moved through 2 engineering departments, the IT department and at least 12 different supervisors (ending with Thomas Frederick, with whom I had my longest and best run). When I started, I didn't know how to code at all. I was a mechanical engineer who was tired of traveling and I thought process engineering seemed like a pretty good fit for me.
It started with inkers, probers, saws and 2 inch wafers of blue LEDs. Then came white LEDs, trips to Japan and China, setting up new factories and helping develop new products - It was a great ride for me and the LED industry. With it came more and more software development and tougher problems. There was always a sense that I was somewhere my skills were needed.
At the same time, the culture of software development was undergoing radical change. Just this week, I took a look at the programming books on the shelf in my cube. It was easy to leave them there - They were obsolete. It wasn't just the subject matter - Books on programming are largely obsolete. The means and methods by which software is created is vastly different than when I started.
Over the past few years, I started to get frustrated with all the things I wasn't getting done - All the ideas that I couldn't implement or pursue. This was coupled with an increasing desire to do more complex and scalable software development using newer technologies. I've started GSDware to put to good use some of the skills I've built up.
I'll always be proud of the time I spent at Cree and the work I did there. There will be many parts of it I will miss dearly - lunch basketball, my co-workers new and old, the holiday party, and even the work... That said, I am excited to see what comes next.